The Sound Cafe
Norwegian Art-Rock Trio Dim Gray Release New Single 'Ashes' From Forthcoming Album
‘Ashes’ is the third single to be released from ‘Firmament’, the new album by Norwegian art rock trio Dim Gray set for release in early September. Their most electronic offering to date, singer and keyboard player Oskar Holldorff explains that “we wanted to push the envelope a bit and see how far we could take things in a certain direction but still be recognisably us. The idea for ‘Ashes’ came back in 2016 when we heard ‘Drone Bomb Me’ by Anohni and found inspiration from its success in making an anti-war statement deeply personal. Aiming to embrace a similar concept sparked the chorus and the rest of the song was written a few years later." He adds that “the song also features gorgeous violins played by Hanna Nicoline Krohn Moland, and a great hi-hat performance by our drummer that reminds me of Peter Gabriel’s ‘Red Rain’, another song that inspired ‘Ashes’.”
As the global pandemic of 2020 took hold, the band used their time to issue several singles prior to the digital release of their debut album, ‘Flown’, a concept work that intertwined song narratives to deliver one continuous story relating a vivid tale of loss and loneliness so relevant to that time. Offering beautifully quiet, intimate moments offset by huge, colourful soundscapes, with twists and turns along the way, ‘Flown’ was released on 2xLP and CD formats in 2021 and received rave reviews.
Now, with the world returning to life, Dim Gray are back with their new album, ‘Firmament’. Presenting twelve vivid, direct and melody-driven songs, it is bursting with life and colour, perfectly pitched against the world’s resumption of ‘normal’. It leads listeners through an intricate recipe of lush electronics, strings-infused chamber pop, evocative indie-folk and grandiose art rock. An ambitious artistic statement, ‘Firmament’ will appeal to fans of artists such as Radiohead, Steven Wilson, Beach Boys and Agnes Obel. It is, quite simply, a rich and multi-layered creation of great beauty.
Having issued ‘Flown’ via their own Grim Day label, ‘Firmament’ will be released on Big Big Train’s English Electric Recordings label, with Gregory Spawton of BBT commenting: “Until now, the label has just been a vehicle for Big Big Train and BBT band members’ outside projects. We’ve been interested in expanding the label’s activities for some time but only wanted to do so when we came across a truly exciting band that we felt had something new to offer musically. When we were introduced to Dim Gray, we saw that the band had enormous potential and were very keen to sign them.”
Dim Gray recently supported Marillion in Stockholm and will play a set of European dates with Big Big Train in early September on which Holldorff will also be deputizing for BBT keyboard player Carly Bryant.
Dim Gray is comprised of guitarist Håkon Høiberg, singer-keyboardist Oskar Holldorff and drummer Tom Ian Klungland. The trio hail from different places, both musically and geographically. However, upon moving to Oslo a decade ago to study, all three found each other and a bond of music and friendship was formed. They soon began writing and playing together.
All three members have contrasting musical backgrounds in genres as diverse as black metal, rock, blues, folk and film music, but the fusion of all these influences has created their own distinctive sound.
Cover Art by Linnea Vestre.